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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Quality of Life Following Major Laparoscopic or Open Pancreatic Resection

Robert J. Torphy MD, Brandon C. Chapman MD, Chloe Friedman MPH, Christina Nguyen BS, Christan G. Bartsch MPH PA-C, Cheryl Meguid DNP, Steven A. Ahrendt MD, Martin D. McCarter MD, Marco Del Chiaro MD, Richard D. Schulick MD, MBA, Barish H. Edil MD, Ana Gleisner MD, PhD
Pancreatic Tumors
Volume 26, Issue 9 / September , 2019



This study was designed to compare quality of life (QoL) among patients who underwent open versus laparoscopic pancreatic resection, including distal pancreatectomy and pancreaticoduodenectomy, and to identify clinical characteristics that are associated with changes in QoL.


Quality of life (QoL) was assessed in patients undergoing pancreatic resection with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Hepatobiliary questionnaire preoperatively and 2 weeks, 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively. Multilevel regression modeling was used to determine the variability in each QoL domain within the first 2 weeks (postoperative period) and thereafter (recovery period).


Among 159 patients, 60.4% underwent open and 39.6% underwent laparoscopic surgery. Physical, functional, hepatobiliary, and total QoL scores decreased in the postoperative period but returned to baseline levels by 6 months postoperatively. Emotional QoL improved from baseline by 2 weeks after surgery (p < 0.001) and social QoL improved from baseline by 3 months after surgery (p < 0.001). Emotional QoL was the only domain where significant differences were observed in QoL in the postoperative and recovery periods between patients who underwent open and laparoscopic pancreatic resection. Controlling for surgical approach, patients who experienced a grade III or IV complication experienced greater declines in physical, functional, hepatobiliary, and total QoL in the postoperative period. The negative impact of complications on QoL resolved by 6 months postoperatively.


The impact of pancreatic resection on QoL was comparable between patients who underwent laparoscopic versus open pancreatic resection. Complications were strongly associated with changes in postoperative QoL, suggesting that performing a safe operation is the best approach for optimizing patient reported QoL.

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